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The Meaning of Life and Suffering as Seen Through the Catholic–Theological and Psychological–Logotherapeutic Perspectives

Tanja Radionov orcid id

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 104 Kb

str. 517-528

preuzimanja: 4.937



Contemporary man, in his constant pursuit of happiness and pleasure, seeks to avoid suffering and pain. However, since suffering is an integral part of life, its meaning represents a major challenge for psychology and religion. The aim of this paper is to look more closely at contemporary man’s search for meaning in life and his experience of suffering — as he often finds himself in a condition of existential frustration and meaninglessness — through the Catholic–theological and psychological–logotherapeutical perspectives. Catholic theology seeks to fathom the meaning of suffering through conformation to the Cross of Christ. In this way, man participates in Christ’s salvific redemption through love which gives profound meaning to his suffering. Humanistic and positive psychology, especially existential psychotherapy and Frankl’s logotherapy, introduce spirituality into the field of psychotherapy: these are based on the assumption that man has a deep longing for meaning which needs to be fulfilled. When enduring suffering, man has the option of taking existential responsibility for it and giving it meaning in accordance with his own values. This leads to deepening self–awareness, to the transcending of oneself and thus finding meaning.

Ključne riječi

meaning of life; suffering; salvific suffering; Viktor E. Frankl; logotherapy; C. G. Jung

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